Monday, October 3, 2022

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Brighton announce De Zerbi as new head coach on a four-year deal

Roberto De Zerbi has been appointed as Brighton’s new head coach on a four-year deal to replace Graham Potter.

The 43-year-old Italian was recently in charge of Shakhtar Donetsk but left the club in July due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

He signed a four-year contract with the Seagulls, subject to a work permit, and was announced on Sunday evening as the successor to Potter, who left for Chelsea earlier this month.

De Zerbi received rave reviews for his style of football during a three-year tenure at Sassuolo, leading them to two eighth-place finishes in Serie A, and he won the Ukrainian Super Cup last year with the Shakhtar.

Brighton owner Tony Bloom said: “I am absolutely delighted. Roberto’s teams play exciting and courageous football, and I’m confident that his style and tactical approach will suit our existing team perfectly.

De Zerbi met Bloom, managing director Paul Barber and technical director David Weir in London earlier this week and flew to Sussex on Friday night before watching a behind closed doors friendly at the Amex Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

As a sign of respect to the Queen, De Zerbi will not be officially presented to the media until Tuesday afternoon.

Weir said: “Roberto has shown his undoubted ability with his work in Italy and Ukraine, and what he achieved in Sassuolo certainly stands out.

“During his short spell with Shakhtar he enjoyed further success, leading the club to cup success and top of the Ukrainian league before war abruptly cut short his time there.

“We are delighted to welcome Roberto and look forward to introducing him to our team as well as giving him all the support he needs to introduce his coaching philosophy and help the players continue their brilliant start to the season.”

De Zerbi is set to bring his coaching staff with him after Brighton revealed deals have been agreed, although they will all require work permits, which the club hope to obtain ahead of their next game against Liverpool October 1.

Barber, who is also vice-president, said: “We looked at a range of great candidates, but Roberto was our number one choice from the start and the only person we spoke to.

“It’s no secret that our chairman is constantly monitoring potential coaches, here in our domestic leagues, across Europe and around the world as part of our succession planning work.

“We believe Roberto is the ideal cultural and technical candidate for Brighton & Hove Albion, and the right person to continue the progress of the club and work with this outstanding group of players.”

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